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Caterpillar feeding on parsley

The Importance of Proper Insect Identification and Responsible Control

I see many new gardeners making the same mistake.

They see something is wrong with their tomato plant or hibiscus and immediately assume they must have an insect problem. And then, to make matters worse, they apply an insecticide or a home made concoction (thinking it will be safer) without first verifying their problem is with an insect. The correct way to approach any lawn or garden problem is with careful observation and some basic diagnostics. Is there an insect present? Is it actually a pest of your plant or just resting on a leaf? Is your problem a nutritional, irrigation or light issue? To verify your problem is insect related you have to be able to catch one and properly identify it.

Responsible pest control can’t be done without identifying your problem first.

Insecticides (organic and conventional) are substances that deter or kill insects and are generally designed to work on specific pests. Ideally you want to find something that will control your pest without damaging off-target organisms in your yard. These could include beneficial insects, wildlife, pests and even yourself! It is best to start with the least toxic control that will still effectively control the pest you are having a problem with. This takes a little effort and knowledge on your part.

On Tuesday February 2 at 6:30pm you can join Dr. William Lester from UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County as he shares the importance of properly identifying your suspected insect pests and how new to Florida gardeners can control them. This free class will be broadcast live on our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/HernandoExt and on YouTube Live at: http://bit.ly/3alTpMg If you are not able to join live don’t worry, you can watch the recorded session later! Be prepared to share your questions in the chat and get research based advice, tips and tricks!